I have decided to do a short series on community. Simply to share my joys, thoughts, and struggles; all of this with the hope of pushing people towards each other.
As I have gotten older I have seen many of my dear friends move away, change seasons, some remain close, and it starts to become hard to have a community where I am (geographically).
Mostly in high school and college your community is handed to you through shared classes and interests. But once you are out of that phase of life building community can be hard because you have to pursue, open yourself up, and let it grow.
Lately I have referred to this as starting over. To put this in perspective let me tell you where my bridesmaids are living currently; Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota, and two live in Texas (over an hour away from me).
In September when we got married my husband and I moved to a new town and were blessed to be submerged in a new community. They love each other, have gatherings all the time, and are always there. It has taken me 3 months watching from the sidelines to say yes to this community. I have a hard time starting over.. AGAIN. The first conversations, getting past shallow small talk, making the coffee dates, inviting people over, and being there for life's moments. That's takes commitment and it takes us being willing not only to take from community but to offer something to it.
Getting over ourselves is hard. In new places with all new people it's common to worry about rejection, being judged, or misunderstood. Constantly reminding ourselves to be willing for all of that to happen because there is a greater joy when we have authentic fellowship with people.
Community takes time, takes energy, and takes risk; in return gives joy, gives peace, and gives life. We are created to be in community, to seek it out, and to quickly plug in. Life and location often change, but our need for each other never does.